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Friday, July 31, 2009

Artist of the Day: Peter Bjorn and John

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I remember the first time I ever heard a song by the Swedish alterna-pop trio Peter Bjorn and John--- I was in my room and Mtv was blaring on the TV screen behind me (This was in 2006, on the eve of the network’s decline to the total fake-reality programming plaguing its current line-up.) When I turned around to look at the screen I saw an animated boy and girl sitting on a park bench with a caption over the brown-haired boy’s head that read, “It’s easy! Just put your lips together.” Excuse me? But what ensued was a light, airy melody composed by mankind’s greatest natural instrument—the whistle. I’m talking about the band’s first music video/single entitled, “Young Folks” of course.


I didn’t know the band or the song name for months after I saw the video, but the tune taunted me wherever I went. They even played it at Food Lion . . . . FOOD LION!

Any way, the moral of the story is this kids, a) find song names immediately after you discover you like them or b) buy an iPhone and solve all your song queries with the Shazam app, and also listen to Peter Bjorn and John or they’ll haunt you.


But maybe you want their songs to stalk you at night, watch you while you’re sleeping, or stand in the shadows at the end of your bed (oh yes I just did) because the boys have got rhythm. Just take a listen to their latest 2009 release Living Thing, which delves deeper into the world of electronic rock. This genre which includes the likes of Passion Pit, MGMT and Kid A-era Radiohead has taken a flying leap into the limelight of colleges across America and PB&J found that even they can rock the synth as well as the rest. One of the singles from Living Thing is called “It Don’t Move Me. But the song title couldn’t be any more of a contradiction because “It DO move me”---the song moves you so much, it makes you want to dance like Michael Jackson.


In yet another one of PB&J’s strangely entrancing music videos, we are introduced to a man slightly on the hefty side and a skinny Micheal Jackson wannabe, who can cut a rug just like our late great King of Pop. The kid even looks a bit like Michael especially when he is busting out Thriller moves in the middle of a dimly lit driving range. Music videos seem to be PB&J’s specialty. They reel fans in with fresh videos that are a bit quirky, but 100 percent loveable and all of a sudden you’re hooked. This could also be the reason why the group is a little under the radar since the heyday of music video has long been gone, but gaining a larger fan base could be just as easy by going on tour.


The Stockholm boys have already begun a summer tour across America with ‘80s greats Depeche Mode. Their last stop before heading to Europe will be on September 5 in Sunrise, Fla but you can catch them in Atlanta on September 1 at the Lakewood Amphitheatre.


Do yourself a favor and check their latest video “It Don’t Move Me” out and if after hearing Living Thing you decide that you can’t stop ‘til you get enough (ha) then pick up the trio’s It Don’t Move Me EP which features remixes of the single by Miike Snow and Weird Tapes.



Who’s Who: Peter Moren (vocals, guitar, harmonica) Björn Yttling (bass guitar, keyboards, and vocals) John Eriksson (drums, percussion, vocals)

Formed: 1999 in Stockholm, Sweden

Label: V2 Music

Latest Release: Living Thing (2009)

On the Web: www.peterbjornandjohn.com


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear from the album Veckatimest


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An open letter to Frank Black (or is it Black Francis?)


When I heard you were taking The Pixies on tour with the plan to play Dolittle from start to finish, well that just made my day. As a lad growing up in the hair band wilderness of the late 80s, Dolittle was the bright shining light that led me into a vast world of musical nirvana (yes, that word is used on purpose). Dolittle is a desert island record, a perfect 40-minute masterpiece inspiring so many to follow it needs to be enshrined in a Hall of Fame somewhere.

But then I saw the dates of the tour, and I must say, it left me forlorn. Look, I know Chicago, L.A., New York, Boston and Seattle are easy picks to make, you guys sell out there in minutes. And then I thought, OK, just huge cities, but there sat Eugene, Oregon, and that got me a bit riled.

Why can’t you come anywhere in the South? Trust me, people love the Pixies here, they really do. I was in a coffee bar a few weeks ago, donning my Pixies shirt proudly, when the guy behind the counter gasped.

“Are you Frank Black?” he said.

I guess my bald head and T-shirt gave him sudden pause.

“No,” I said. “Today I’m Black Francis.”

“Really? Cause if you are, I’m about to die.”

Not wanting a dead barista and really wanting my coffee, I relented and told him sadly I was not Frank Black. Somehow I don’t think you wear Pixies shirts to coffee bars.

“Well if you were, that would be awesome, because I love the Pixies,” he said.

He was 25 years old.

You are loved down here, so I beg you, I implore you, to consider adding a show in the South (Atlanta is great, but hey we love you here in Athens way, way much. There’s a cover band called Chien Andalusia, and they rock the loud/quiet/loud. You can stay with Stipe, or at his house if he’s not here. Think about it, five nights at the 40 Watt – it would be epic).

So Frank, or Black, or Charles, please consider this request.

You never know who you could inspire next.

By the way, for those in lucky cities, here's the lineup:

Nov. 4 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium (on sale TBA)
Nov. 8 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater (on sale August 16)
Nov. 9 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater (on sale August 16)
Nov. 12 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre (on sale August 1)
Nov. 13 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre (on sale August 1)
Nov. 14 - Eugene, OR @ Hult Center (on sale August 14)
Nov. 16 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore (on sale September 12)
Nov. 20 - Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom (on sale September 12)
Nov. 21 - Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom (on sale September 12)
Nov. 23 - New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom (on sale August 14)
Nov. 24 - New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom (on sale August 14)
Nov. 25 - New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom (on sale August 14)
Nov. 27 - Boston, MA @ Wang Center (on sale September 12)
Nov. 30 - Washington, D.C. @ Constitution Hall (on sale September 11)

- Ed Morales, listening mournfully to Gouge Away by The Pixies

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Epic Open-Mic Night Beginning August 24

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Calling all musicians in the Athens area--- Are you tired of writing songs but never receiving the credit you deserve? Do you have a bunch of lyrics hidden under your bed, but no one to sing them to? Well, The Athens Blur Magazine and Rye Bar have joined forces to help aspiring musicians like yourself get your talents heard with the return of the epic open mic night.


The competition series begins on Monday, August 24th and will last for six weeks at Rye Bar on 140 East Clayton Street (across from Transmetropolitan). Every Monday night six separate acts will have the opportunity to play a 20-minute set, with the first series consisting of solo and duo singer-songwriter acts.


The series will be judged American Idol style with three judges from the local Athens music community who will base each performance on:

  1. vocal ability
  2. instrumental ability
  3. songwriting
  4. performance


Each act will be given a personal judgment sheet following their performance that will offer constructive and positive criticism on your set. If you are the winner of the night you perform, you will be awarded with a final 30 minute victory set and be given a spot to compete on the series’ final night where the winner will receive:


- A $200 cash prize

- A 3 track EP recorded at Sugarbuzz Studios

- Weekend headline show at Rye Bar

- Coverage in The Athens Blur Magazine


Now, that we’ve got your attention, you must be wondering how you can enter . . .

Interested acts must send in their:

  1. Name
  2. Contact phone
  3. E-mail Address
  4. Name of your act
  5. Instrumentation
  6. One sentence description of your music

to Lindsey Lee of Blur Magazine at openmic@athensblur.com between August 1st – August 17th.

There will also be a $5 submission fee collected on the night of your performance.


So what are you waiting for? This is your opportunity to get heard, so don’t let it pass you by! ---Not a musician? That’s ok. Come to support your fellow Athenians and spread the word to your friends. You never know---There might be a hidden rockstar sitting right next to you!



- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: Your Band!


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weezer's Questionable New Style

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This will be brief, since Slater-Kinney’s singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein’s thoughts on Weezer’s new tracks can be summed up in one quick quote:


"I don't know if Weezer hates its fans or just the (apparently) stifling concept of sincerity, but you should listen to these two new songs if you weren't already convinced of Weezer's contempt for music."


Ouch. But are the two tracks titled “The Girl Got Hot” and “I’m Your Daddy” (the titles of these songs are a bit questionable if anything) as bad as Browstein says? You be the judge by viewing a couple fan videos taken during a Weezer set at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in South Korea.




- Jessica Cole

Currently Listening to: “Sad, Sad Song” by M. Ward


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Artist of the Day: Hollyweerd

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Recently formed Hollyweerd makes unique sounds by combining jazz, new wave, rap, techno, funk and hip-hop. The band formed November 2007 in Atlanta and is made up of four musicians, going by the names of Dreamer, The Love Crusader, Tuki and Stago Lee. “Weerdo” and “Go Hard or Go Home” have propelled Hollyweerd into the music scene and demand for more shows not just in the Atlanta area but in Los Angeles and New York City as well. If you are in Atlanta tomorrow, check them out at Lenny’s Atl at 9:00 pm.


Who’s Who: Dreamer, The Love Crusader, Tuki and Stago Lee (everything)

Formed: 2007, Georgia

Label: A.D.D.

Latest Release: Candy for Kleptos mix tape
On the web: http://www.myspace.com/hollyweerd

-Sarah Saltzman


Currently listening to: “Brand New Colony” by The Postal Service

Grammy Winner Imogen Heap Has New Video

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Imogen Heap has released a new video for her song "Canvas" on her most recent album Ellipse. If you aren't too familiar with this English singer and songwriter you should check out movie Garden State and television show The O.C. to jog your memory by listening to a few of her singles such as "Let Go" and "Hide and Seek."


-Sarah Saltzman

Currently listening to: "Canvas" by Imogen Heap

M. Ward is all substance (and no flash)

The sign leading into the 40 Watt Monday night read "Absolutely No Photos" which is not something you see too often. Most musicians today stopped fighting the wave of recording and picture-taking at their live shows.

But M. Ward was having none of it. He was kicking it old school, and taking his show into consideration, it makes perfect sense.

For his almost 90-minute set in front of a packed house, Ward and his tight band wound through 20 songs, running the gamut of musical styles to showcase songs from his extensive catalog. At times bluesy, folksy, rollicking and quiet, Ward kept the crowd happy with old favorites (Big Boat) while playing a good handful of songs from the album Hold Time, which was released earlier this year.

He opened the show solo, rocking out on the acoustic guitar with One Hundred Million Years, then donning the harmonica for the soulful Fuel for Fire from the 2005 release Transistor Radio. The band joined in for Post War, and the party was on. Usually strapping the guitar, Ward ventured off to the piano for Hold Time, To Save Me, and the aforementioned Big Boat, which was just a straight-ahead cavalcade of sound.

What's most interesting about Ward's live show is too often the songs end just as the crowd is really getting into them. But Ward was ready for this, picking up the slack by diving into the next tune with verve. His final push before the encore – Requiem, Chinese Translation, Rave On – ended with a fantastic cover of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven. It's not a song often covered in the 40 Watt, but then again neither is seeing the lack of constant camera clicks from the crowd.

Ward played two encores, singing Magic Trick before ending the night with Bad Dreams.

The crowd left wanting more, but perhaps that's what Ward wants. The phrase "Take a picture, it lasts longer" doesn't work for him - he wants the image to last in a certain time at a certain place.

And isn't that better than a picture, anyway?

- Ed Morales
Listening to Josephine by Magnolia Electric Co.

Nuçi's Space Benefit: Win VIP Tickets for Voodoo

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Fans have the opportunity to win two VIP ticket at Voodoo Music Festival 2009 in New Orleans with each $1 donation made to Nuçi's Space. The online contest at rocknraffle.com was created with the help of Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic and Plexus Web Creations. Fans have a chance to win two round trip airline tickets courtesy of AirTran Airways, a three-night stay at the New Orleans Marriot and two VIP Voodoo Fest passes. What comes with these special tickets? Special side stage viewing access for the Widespread Panic performance, swag from Panic and the Drive-By Truckers, reserved parking, line free entrance, complementary classic New Orleans lunch buffet with signature drinks daily and nightly, exclusive live performances and private bathrooms. All of the proceeds from the contest will go to Nuçi's Space to aid in their mission to prevent suicide by providing obstacle-free treatment for musicians suffering from depression and other such disorders, as well as to assist in the emotional, physical and professional well-being of musicians. The contest will close on September 30 and a winner will be chosen on October 2.

To enter the contest, go to rocknraffle.com
For details on the Voodoo Fest, go to thevoodooexperience.com/2009

-Julie McCollum
Listening to “I’m a Ram” by Gov’t Mule

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Decemberists Extend 'Hazards' Tour

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The Decemberists released one of their most adventurous albums to date this year entitled, The Hazards of Love and in support of the concept album the band has decided to resume touring on through November, where they will end their run in London.


Excluding the Newport Folk Festival, The Decemberists will perform Hazards in its entirety at every stop along their tour. Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond and Becky Stark from Lavender Diamond who are featured on the new album will be accompanying the group as well.


Opening acts for the second leg of their 2009 tour include The Heartless Bastards (who recently opened for Jenny Lewis at the 40 Watt Club) and Blind Pilot. Unfortunately, there are no stops scheduled for Georgia (They go from Asheville, N.C. to Nashville, Tenn. to St. Augustine, Fla., grr . . .), but if you can make it to one of the surrounding shows you should be in for a treat.


A complete list of dates is listed below:


08-01 Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
08-02 Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
08-03 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus %
08-05 Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater %
08-06 Chicago, IL - Metro %
08-07 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08-08 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Egyptian Room %
08-10 Louisville, KY - W.L. Lyons Brown Theater #
08-11 Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theater %
08-13 Buffalo, NY - UB Center for the Arts %
08-14 Pittsburgh, PA - Byham Theater %
08-15 Schwenksville, PA - Philadelphia Folk Festival
08-16 Holyoke, MA - Mountain Park %
09-20 Burlington, VT - Flynn Theater $
09-21 Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater $
09-23 Norfolk, VA - The Norva $
09-24 Charlottesville, VA - Charlottesville Pavilion $
09-25 Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium $
09-27 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium $
09-29 St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheater $
09-30 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live $
10-02 Houston, TX - House of Blues $
10-03 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10-04 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom $
10-06 Lexington, KY - University of Kentucky, Lexington $
10-07 Columbia, MO - Ninth St. Fall Fest $
10-18 San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Music Festival
11-18 London, England - Forum
11-19 London, England - Coronet

% with Heartless Bastards

$ with Laura Veirs & the Hall of Flames! with Blind Pilot

# with Bind Pilot


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: “Tom’s Diner (DNA Remix)” by Suzanne Vega (‘90s Baby!)


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Update: Thom Yorke Confirmed for New Moon OST

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As previously reported, Thom Yorke was in talks to contribute to the upcoming New Moon Soundtrack. The rumors have now been confirmed by the director of the uber-popular Twilight sequel.

Yorke wrote a song specifically for the new album, and though director Chris Weitz has yet to hear the song, he pretty much guarantees it will be featured on the album.

“I selfishly want to put songs in by artists I love. And some the cast and crew also happen to love,” he said. "Unless it's sounds of him [Yorke] belching, I think I'll put it in."

Another artist expected to contribute to the soundtrack is singer-songwriter Bon Iver.
"He says he wrote it for the film, but who ever knows if it might just be something laying around in his cupboard,” Weitz said.

Weitz is still holding out for a track from the Kings of Leon.

The song “Closer” from KOL’s newest album Only By the Night is about a lovesick vampire . . . could that be the track he is hoping for? Stay tuned . . .

- Jessica Cole

Currently Listening to: "Humble Me" by Norah Jones from the album Feels Like Home

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Mystery John Lennon Lyrics on Display

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Do these John Lennon lyrics sound familiar?


"Little girl I've come to stay/

And this time I just have to say/

I love you/

If she turns you down and you're rejected

Try again the best you can/

Call to see her when you're least expected/

Tell her now she'll understand.


If not, then don’t be alarmed, because no one knows exactly where, or more importantly, WHEN they came from.


The lyrics are currently on display in Liverpool at the White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon exhibit which is sponsored by Lennon’s first wife Cynthia, and his son Julian.


The exhibit is a part of Liverpool’s Beatles’ Story attraction that was brought to life by curator Ann Darby.

Darby believes that the lyrics were produced sometime in the year 1966.


“When the lyrics came up for auction over ten years ago, the auctioneers Sotheby's estimated they were written in 1966," he explained. "This seems to be based on the fact that some of the lyrics are written on a note sent to George Harrison by some Japanese fans. The Beatles played in Japan that year, but this could of course be a coincidence."


Lennon’s son Julian has expressed interest in using the lyrics in some of his own music. He ensures Lennon fans that he would only be using them in honor of his late father.

“I guess in some respect it would be like coming home," he said.


Those who will be in the UK/Liverpool area in the next few months can check out The Spirit of Lennon exhibit at Liverpool’s Pier Head until December 31, 2009.


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: “Creepin’ In” by Norah Jones from the album Feels Like Home


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

Even Thom Yorke Likes Vampires

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Thom Yorke is joining the vampire-obsessed fad. Well, maybe… There have been some rumors saying Yorke may be doing some music for the second movie, New Moon, due out in November of this year. The director of the movie told Rotten Tomatoes he is not at the stage to turn anyone down yet but he is also trying to get Kings of Leon to do some music. Chances are these two bands may seriously consider doing some music for the popular movie series…after all, Radiohead’s “15 Step” did play during the closing credits of the first movie. If you are interested, the trailer for the New Moon movie is below.



-Sarah Saltzman

Currently listening to: “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8issure/year music % variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Will.I.Am Says NO

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A few days ago, Will.I.Am felt the need to blow off some steam...by spray painting a bridge. Last year, The Black Eyed Peas star suffered from depression and must have been suffering from it again as he cruised to a bridge he chose to deface in his Bentley.


Will.I.Am gave this statement:
"At the start of 2008 I was feeling depressed, so I decided to head to the freeway to tag (spray). I stopped under a bridge on Route 101 and wrote 'No' in big letters using a can of black paint. I'd almost finished when two cops arrived. I broke out running across the freeway, tripped and broke my fifth metatarsal bone."

-Sarah Saltzman
Currently listening to: "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brooke Hogan: Trashy or just too Flashy?

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Brooke Hogan released her new album Redemption two days ago. From what I have heard, the music is completely auto-tuned and nothing short of absolutely ridiculous. The artwork on the cover of the album depicts Hogan as a muscular, orange angel in a sexy pose. Really? I’m going to label this one a little on the trashy side. One of her fan’s posted on a blog about her new album,

“Wow. There’s just so much to take in here. Who decided to have her flex her giant left biceps? Who drew that face? Something about the eyes isn’t right. Why is her hair white? I guess it goes with the angel motif. And what’s with that, anyway? I guess The Redemption is supposed to evoke some sort of religious imagery. Bad call on everyone’s part. Brooke is a beautiful girl who may or may not have a bit of performance talent. Problem is, they keep packaging her as something she can’t successfully be.”


-Sarah Saltzman
Currently listening to: “Paul Revere” by The Beastie Boys

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Artist of the Day: Keller Williams

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Keller Williams is the definition of solo artist. Often described as a “one-man jam band,” he tours relentlessly, playing over 100 shows a year (he usually hits Athens in the spring). Williams uses looping effects to layer instruments, jumping from guitar to bass to percussion, until the result is a full-blown band sound. Sometimes he lets go and joins forces with backing bands, such as The String Cheese Incident or the WMD’s. His music defies labels, incorporating bluegrass, jazz and rock. Live is the best way to get the Keller Williams experience, but in the meantime he has this great system called “Once A Week Freek” on his website where he puts up a different song to download every week (on Wednesday), including never before heard originals, live songs dug up from the archives, and even versions of songs recorded as recently as last night’s show. Check it out at http://www.theonceaweekfreek.com/weekly-freek.php

Who’s Who: Keller Williams (everything)
Formed: 1991 in Virginia
Label: SCI Fidelity
Latest Release: Keller Williams with Moseley, Droll & Sipe-LIVE (2008)
Website: www.kellerwilliams.net

-Julie McCollum
Listening to: “Ultimate” by Keller Williams

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Blueprint 3 Looks Promising

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Even though Jay-Z threatened to leave the hip-hop scene entirely in 2003, he has a new album in the works due out very soon. According to a Reuter report, MGMT, Rhianna, Kid Cudi, Drake and Mr. Hudson will all appear on Jay-Z’s new album entitled Blueprint 3. The album’s first single known as "D.O.A.," short for "Death of Autotune", made the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 24. Jay-Z gave some insight about the single’s meaning, “In hip-hop our job is, once a trend becomes a gimmick, to get rid of it. We’ve done that since the beginning of time. This isn’t some newfangled thing.” Here’s a sample of some of the lyrics from the single:


"I know we're facing a recession, but the music y'all making gonna make it the great depression ... this ain't politically correct/This might offend my political connects/This is the death of Auto-Tune, moment of silence" over a sample from Janko Nilovic's "In the Space."

"D.O.A.," the only song released from Blueprint 3 so far, was revealed at a live performance first at WQHT New York’s 2009 Summer Jam Concert. Blueprint 3 will be available on September 11, eight years since the first Blueprint was released.

-Sarah Saltzman

Currently listening to: “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Stars Cinemash "Sid and Nancy"

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Cinemash—an MSN.com program where stars spoof old movies, like the cast of Human Giant and Reno 911’s take on “Point Break” and Cheech and Chong’s reenactment of “Tron,” have added another interesting take on the classic film “Sid and Nancy.”


Seems like I have been the 500 Days of Summer spokesperson these past few weeks but the video of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levit Cinemashing the destructive couple is quite hilarious in that Deschanel portrays Vicious and Gordon-Levitt portrays Nancy.


Here is the video:



You can head to http://movies.msn.com/cinemash/ to view the other videos.


Stay tuned because next Tuesday (July 28) Channing Tatum and Charlene Yi will be spoofing the ‘80s Swayze film, Dirty Dancing.


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: "Intuition" by Feist from the album The Reminder

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com


Live Show Review: The Premonitons

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I feel a premonition coming on. No, I’m not Raven, I’m not a lackluster Sandra Bullock film, I’m just a writer reviewing an Athens band with the name The Premonitions. After a band that sounded eerily close to that of The Fray, The Premonitions made their way to the stage with a barefooted lead singer, and a drummer who was dressed like a hip librarian—khaki pants, a tucked in white button up shirt and a slight wave in the front of his sandy blonde hair.

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Some publications compared the musical style of The Premonitions to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I found a rather slim resemblance between the two bands except that the Athens group is comprised of a female lead and male musicians playing the basic rock instruments: drums, bass and guitar. While the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are loud, aggressive indie rock, the Premonitions are a softer pop-rock vibe. Take one of the new tracks the group performed entitled “Paper Cuts.” There is a simple 1-2 drum beat, with a steady bassline, and a repeating mellow guitar riff with lead vocalist Maureen Mcginnis taking her sweetly smooth vocals in a calming lullaby-like reverie.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were also many tracks showed off a grittier side. The guitars were grungy, and the basslines were a bit more varied.

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Guitarist Mark Callahan seemed at ease with his instrument, cutting loud solos effortlessly and bassist Alex Cooper added his own vocals to one of the last songs of the night.

Mcginnis seemed to be a bit nervous at the beginning of the show, smiling and shyly announcing the band, but all of those jitters seemed nonexistent once the music began. Her vocals are powerful---and there is no mistaking the talent of the entire band. Maybe it was her nerves, or maybe it was the fact that they were playing new songs, but Mcginnis kept a pile of papers stacked on her keyboard throughout the show, peering every so often at the crumpled white sheets.

The Premonitions are a fairly new band to hit the stages of Athens, and they still have a lot of room to grow and come into their own, but there is no premonition needed to predict the bright future that lies ahead for this group of young rockers—shoes and socks optional.

- Jessica Cole

Currently Listening to: “Time and Time Again” by Counting Crows

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Yo La Tengo Announce Fall Tour

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Yo La Tengo has announced a hefty helping of tour dates starting in mid-September. The long running indie group who first came into the music scene in 1984 and who’ve released over 10 albums over their 20+ year career will be promoting their newest release, Popular Songs, which drops on September 8.


No openers have been booked as of yet, but grunge rockers The Black Lips will perform before YLT at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.


The full list of dates can be viewed below:


09-15 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
09-16 Boston, MA - Wilbur Theater
09-17 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
09-18 Durham, NC - Carolina Theater
09-19 Atlanta, GA - Variety
09-21 Asheville - Orange Peel
09-25 New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
10-02 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
10-03 Toronto, Ontario - Opera House
10-05 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
10-06 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
10-07 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
10-09 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
10-10 Denver, CO - Ogden
10-11 Aspen, CO - Belly Up
10-12 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10-14 Phoenix, AZ - Marquee
10-15 Los Angeles, CA - Avalon
10-16 San Diego, CA - Soma
10-17 Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theater
10-18 San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Festival
10-20 Portland, WA - Crystal Ballroom
10-21 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
10-22 Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo


Along with the release of the new album, Matador, the label that will release YLT’s newest are trying something new this year with a program called Buy Early Get Now. Fans who purchase Popular Songs through this program will not only be granted a preview stream of the entire album on August 4, but will also receive a bonus MP3, a vinyl copy of the Adventureland (think Waiting but with no dandruff-laden steak) Score performed by Yo La Tengo and a poster.


An album, a tour, a poster and an early preview; I can hear their hearts all rapidly beating as one as Yo La Tengo comes back to the indie forefront in full force. Welcome back!



- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: "Saved by Old Times" by Deerhunter from the album Microcastle


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

U2 releases new video

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U2 has released their brand new video for "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." A completely animated music video, U2 never makes an appearance, but David O'Reilly's stunning animation definitely makes up for it. O'Reilly, who both directed the video and did all of the animation in it, has worked on films like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow. The video's unique look and interesting message makes it very cool to watch. The characters in the music video all have a realization that they are living meaningless lives and that they'll "go crazy if they don't go crazy tonight." On their official YouTube page, U2 explains that the video is "not your typical music video, this animated ensemble video was directed by David OReilly, who used the songs themes and lyrics to create multiple, parallel stories about people who decide to make a change in their lives." Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmJgdXkAqMU

-Laurie Moot
Currently listening to "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," by U2

This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Strokes' Frontman Goes Solo

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Julian Casablancas, the lead singer of The Strokes, will release a solo album called Phrazes for the Young this fall. The eight songs on the disc were produced by Jason Lader, who has worked with Jay-Z, Coldplay, Gwen Stephani and Justine Timberlake. Additional production credits go to Mike Mogis, who has worked with Bright Eyes. Don’t worry, Strokes fans, the band is currently writing songs for their fourth album. In the meantime, Cassablancas will announce some special U.S. dates and a solo tour for later this year. Check out the video launched on his new website: http://www.juliancasablancas.com/


-Julie McCollum

Listening to: Is This It


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com

Thom Yorke Performs New Acoustic Track

Those lucky Brits. Fans in attendance of the Latitude Festival in Suffolk, England were given an incredible surprise when Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wowed fans with a solo set---and a brand new song!


The title of the track was not announced but internet rumors have coined it “The Present Tense.”


Here’s the video of the performance. It's a bit haunting, don't you think?


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: “Treefingers” by Radiohead from the album Kid A


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com



M83 Packs a Wallop

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Sometimes even security guards need a good bitch slap, and who better to give them one than lead singer Anthony Gonzalez of M83.


During a July 18 show in Columbus, Ohio, the band invited fans up on stage to dance during the close of the concert. Fans came up to dance, and to begin with, the security guard gently removed some of the dancers from the stage. M83 told fans to come back on stage, thus ensued the unfriendly removing of fans from the stage by one of the security officers. Gonzalez saw this going on, yelled “Fuck you!” and not only slapped, but kicked one of the event officials.


Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the video that shows it all.



The St. Louis Riverfront Times interviewed Gonzalez after the show at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Art’s and the front man explained the reason for his actions:

"The security guard started to act violent with the kids, and they were just kids. So I really didn't like that, and that's the reason why I was a bit violent as well."


Gonzalez was not arrested or detained for the incident. But, man, the only thing missing was the baby powder . . . SMACK!


- Jessica Cole


Currently Listening to: "Otherside of the Game" by Erykah Badu from the album Baduizm


This content is solely the property of The Athens Blur Magazine and may not be re-produced without expressed written consent. The Athens Blur Magazine is an 8 issue/year music & variety publication proud to be based in the Classic City of Athens, Ga. For more information, please contact editorial@athensblur.com